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Province set to announce huge green energy deal

Premier Dalton McGuinty is set to announce a blockbuster deal with a group led by South Korean firm Samsung that could create 15,000 jobs in Ontario, CTV Toronto has learned.

The deal, expected to be formally announced Thursday, will see about $5 billion in investment as Samsung establishes up to four manufacturing facilities to build wind turbines, solar panels and related equipment.

The goal, according to government sources, is to make Ontario an international centre for the manufacturing of green energy technologies and export the products to other countries.

Samsung, which will be leading a consortium in this deal, announced in May 2009 it had plans to enter the wind turbine business in 2010. It had also made a decision to enter the wind turbine business.

The McGuinty government passed its Green Energy Act that month, which it claimed will create 50,000 new jobs by making it easier to develop renewable energy projects in the province.

For example, the province will override local laws when it comes to the location of wind or solar energy installations. McGuinty warned the province would not have patience for objections that aren’t based on health and safety concerns.

In late September, the province announced that progress had been ongoing in talks with Samsung and that the two sides were making progress towards an agreement.

Ontario will pay Samsung 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour for green energy — even more if the four plants are built.

The deal is likely to lead to the building of dozens of new wind and solar farms across Ontario.